- Business - Turkish industry continues to rise

By Conor Feasey

Turkish industry continues to rise

Bogdan Gusarev dissects the key takeaways from the first Superyacht Summit Tu¨rkiye as the nation looks to solidify its shipbuilding reputation…

The Ciragan Palace, Istanbul, hosted the first edition of Superyacht Summit Türkiye

Over 250 people gathered at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul for the inaugural Superyacht Summit Türkiye on November 30th. With a surge of interest during the fortnight before the event, Bogdan Gusarev, co-founder of the event’s organisers WeAreSuperyachts, tells SuperyachtNews the summit was a 'resounding success' and has furthered the notion of Türkiye being a shipbuilding heavyweight.

“We had originally planned for 100 delegates, so to have the surge of interest in the two weeks preceding the event was incredible,” says Gusarev. “To have all the big names from the Turkish superyacht industry in one room, discussing initiatives and formulating solutions on the challenges we face was especially productive for the future of the sector in Türkiye.”

The one-day summit featured a line-up of speakers and industry experts, with discussions focussing on the current state of the Turkish market, regulatory issues, charter, law, sustainability, branding, marketing, luxury tourism and submersible technology.

“I was privileged to speak at the SST 2023 and be amongst such an illustrious panel of speakers,” says James Jaffa, Managing Partner, Jaffa & Co. “It was a real pleasure for me to see people of significant seniority and depth of expertise within the superyacht market gather in Istanbul. The overwhelming feeling is that we can't wait for the next edition.”

The main takeaway from the event was its necessity. According to Gusarev, the Turkish industry is somewhat isolated not only from the rest of Europe but also lacks interconnectedness within its own borders. “This is something that has been voiced to us immensely since the event. Türkiye has so much industry, there has never been the opportunity to get together and discuss how we can improve and grow together. We have been operating separately, but the Summit aims to address this. And listening to the feedback we have received, we have succeeded in doing this so far.”

Türkiye has been at the forefront of the new build sector for two decades. According to Superyacht Intelligence, 6.8% of the total fleet (over 30m) is built in the eastern Mediterranean country. More notably, it has built almost two-thirds (64.4%) of the 40m-50m segment and around 31% of yachts between 40m and 60m. With an average LOA of 40m and a growing order book of yachts above 70m, Türkiye is no longer an up-and-comer but instead is steadily solidifying itself as a premium shipbuilding nation.

A packed audience listened attentively to a discussion on the market with Jeremey Roche of Denison Yachting

Building larger yachts will bring greater visibility to the sector too.“It feels as if we are really at a turning point now, and there was an element of that in the air at the conference,” says Gusarev. “With the likes of Ak Yachts building currently having a yacht over 100m in build, and other shipyards building in the 80m plus segment, we are only getting stronger as an industry and looking to push forward and compete with other leading nations.”

With the lion's share of attendees hailing from Türkiye, around 30% of delegates flew in from abroad. For the event organisers, this was imperative in forwarding the nation’s superyacht industry on the global stage, as sometimes it feels isolated from both the global and European markets, left in its own sphere.

The lack of marketing utilised by Turkish yachting was frequently discussed at the event and noted as something to enhance collectively in order to boost the country's profile not only for shipyards but as a cruising destination and multi-faceted service provider. “Sustainability was of course a key discussion too, but this is something we already take very seriously here. There are not only numerous initiatives but also governmental legislation in place to reduce our carbon impact,” adds Gusarev.

Building on the results of its 2023 event, WeAreSuperyachts have since announced the expansion of the Superyacht Summit Türkiye 2024 into a two-day conference on November 26th & 27th. It will feature a larger EXPO area, additional masterclasses, and more networking opportunities.

“Our mission was to bring industry leaders together to connect, learn, and explore better business practices in Turkey while also fostering stronger ties with the global market,” says Gusarev. “I believe we've successfully achieved our goals. Next year we plan to grow from this year’s summit and help to provide greater visibility for this burgeoning market.”

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Turkish industry continues to rise


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